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The Rise of the Labour Party had more to do with class consciousness than socialism Discuss The British Labour party is essentially a twentieth century phenomenon which came in this century to essentially take the place of the Liberals as the main opposition to the traditionally strong forces of conservatism The question which is to be addressed then is how and why this change came about and whether this was mainly to do with the increasing popularity of socialism as a political creed or whether it was based on much wider social and class issues Certainly many working class people were becoming disturbed at the striking contrast between the poverty of the poor and the comfortable existence enjoyed by the upper and middle classes However what remains to be addressed is whether most of these people saw the solutions to these problems in socialist terms or simply regarded them as issues which should be addressed regardless or not of any socialist objective It is an oversimplication to talk about the rise of the Labour Party as if it were a single homogenous body In fact it was an amalgamation of three different socialist groups the Social Democratic Federation the Fabians and the Independent Labour Party with some trade unions Although these groups were all described as Socialist their aims and methods were not always the same This distinction is crucial in understanding the importance of socialism in the rise of the Labour Party The Social Democratic Federation was a short lived organisation vehemently socialist party who preached using violent revolution to overthrow the capitalist system It never enjoyed popular support but attracted publicity through its protest marches and demonstrations the most famous being the one held in Trafalgar Square in 1887 which came to be known as Bloody Sunday because of the violence which ensued It had little importance in the actual rise of the Labour movement because though preaching rigid socialism did
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